15 October, 2009

Light and Shadow

You can out-distance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you.
Rwandan Proverb

Yesterday Mark wrote about Switching on Awareness. A wonderful post with great visuals about flipping a switch within ourselves and seeing what we haven’t seen – noting who we truly are and removing the darkness and the shadows from our worlds or lives. Like many of Mark’s posts, it was uplifting in its gentle reminder as to the light that lives within each of us even on the darkest days… and it is a nice thought that, divinely speaking, it is as easy as flipping on a switch.
Sometimes it is that easy.
Or maybe it just seems easy sometimes.
Sometimes we think we see when we actually don’t.
I can’t tell you how many times people have said something over and over and yet, I don’t truly hear what it is that they are saying until… I hear them. I not only hear them but I stop to wonder… why didn’t I hear that before? Such an easy realization that it is like someone flipped on the light switch. Actually, I didn’t hear it until something inside me was ready to hear it. What is the adage – we can lead a horse to water but we can’t make him drink? You can turn on a light for someone but until they are ready to flip that switch for themselves...
Readiness is something that only we know and sometimes, we don’t know we are ready until we are already there, standing in the light!
“You are MOM.” Came the emphatic voice over the phone.
“Yes I know, but…”
“Listen to yourself. Just stop it!”
And I heard her!! I heard what she was saying. I heard what everyone has been saying for months. For the first time… I heard and the light flipped on – bright, warm, amazing light.
The light is healthy and loving and yet it is also a risk as it means truly having to look… and I mean really look at the life that we are living, the choices we are making, and our actions. Sometimes we deceive ourselves into believing that we are truly seeing with the light on when we are actually quite happy living in the dark.
And other times… we know we are living in the dark, but the idea of flipping on that light and seeing ourselves in the mirror – having to take responsibility for our actions and choices – that is an overwhelming prospect.
Yet how long can we live in the dark? How long can we survive deceiving ourselves and those around us – creating a life that we pretend we want over confronting those shadows?
How long can we run from those chasing us before we realize that as fast as we run, we can’t escape the shadows that are in our heads and in our lives?
Flipping on the light is a gradual process for me. It is not that I spend a great deal of time denying the amazing person that I am (after all, how to deny such greatness is beyond me!!) It is that life is a journey. I made choices that I knew were not about respecting myself. I allowed myself to be entangled in a situation that undermined the person that I am – and I knew, at some level, that I was doing this. I have made choices that, now that the lights are being turned on in my house, are not always easy for me to accept without a little bit of sorrow. Sometimes the anticipation of what lies in that shadow or in that corner is greater than the actuality… and other times, well, I have to remember that I am who I am and, I have done the best I could at each time in my life. I can’t second guess that based on the information I have now – but I can learn and I can move forward in the light!
Casting light – whether it be the warmth of a candle or the bright stadium variety allows us to see that there is nothing to be afraid of. There is nothing that isn’t worth loving… The light removes the secrets and the fears and all that is hidden.
We can out run our external fears – the things that chase us and go bump in the night. Can we truly outrun the fears that lie within, motivate our choices, and play a role in our lives?
If we can’t out run them… can we live a life of happiness/joy and peace without recognizing them and bringing them into the light?


dadshouse said...

Beautiful post! So many of us chase shadows, and try to see in the dark. Yielding to life, and finding your inner light, is like flipping that switch. How great that you're having this awareness and sharing it with us. Wonderful stuff

Mark said...

Excellent writing! You have extolled great wisdom here today. Some times it's a flick of the switch, sometimes it's the slow rotation of the dimmer switch (hmm, why "dimmer" not "brighter" swithch?)
Ever try to turn on "dark" or open a can of dark? Dark never overtakes the light.